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7-2-12: Maryland’s Civil Rights Movement Seen and Heard
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This conversation first aired February 22, 2012.
On this day in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, prohibiting racial segregation in schools, workplaces, and other public facilities.
Right now, an exhibit at the Maryland Historical Society explores how the Civil Rights era played out in Maryland. It’s called “Seen and Heard: Maryland’s Civil Rights Era in Photographs and Oral Histories.”
“Seen” is for the Henderson Photograph Collection, which contains thousands of prints from Paul Henderson, a photographer who spent much of his career at the Afro-American newspaper. “Heard” is for the McKeldin-Jackson Oral History Project. Dr. Lillie Carroll Jackson headed of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP from 1935 to 1970–a span that included Theodore McKeldin’s terms as mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland. The oral history project contains interviews with civil rights figures about McKeldin and Jackson, their relationship, and their role in Baltimore’s civil rights movement.
Today, we’ll hear some audio from those oral histories, and we’ll discuss them with three guests. Jenny Ferretti is the Maryland Historical Society’s curator of photographs. Dr. Helena Hicks was part of the civil rights movement here in Baltimore; she took part in the downtown Baltimore Read’s Drug Store sit-in in 1955, and she serves as a commissioner on the Baltimore City Commission for Historical & Architectural Preservation. And Fraser Smith, WYPR’s own senior news analyst and columnist for the Daily Record, wrote the book Here Lies Jim Crow: Civil Rights in Maryland.
The exhibit will be on display at the Maryland Historical Society indefinitely. Some of the thousands of unidentified photographs can be seen here. The public may also visit the library at the MdHS to take a look at the collection's reference photographs by contacting the Special Collections Department.
Listen to the full conversation here. [38:57]